Smith calls on Finance Minister to take hands on approach to insurance industry


Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Finance to increase his engagement with the insurance industry and ensure that they meet their commitments to their customers.

 Deputy Smith said, “The fact that Minister Donohoe has not yet met with the CEOs is a further demonstration of the lack of urgency with which this issue is being treated. There are business owners in Cavan-Monaghan, one of the worst areas hit by the coronavirus, who are uncertain as to whether they will be able to reopen when that time comes.

 “Now is not the time for a ‘soft touch’ approach from the Minister or his government colleagues. The insurance companies have clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to implement relief for their customers without oversight.

 “Their reputation is such that Insurance Ireland is in the process of designing an activity tracker, which will log the supports that are being given to customers. This data will be used to give oversight as to who is reducing premiums, extending deadlines for renewals and maintaining cover. The fact that this level of hand holding is necessary just goes to show that the Department recognises the incompetence of the insurance industry.

“Major resistance is still being shown by insurance companies when it comes to legitimate business interruption policies. The Minister must step in and if insurers continue to be impervious to his requests, legislative changes will have to be considered,” concluded Deputy Smith.